Over the years, Jonathan Feldman and Lisa Lougee have purchased and offered quite a few homes.
“We thought of ourselves as serial flippers,” mentioned Mr. Feldman, 52, the founding companion of the San Francisco-based agency Feldman Architecture, the place Ms. Lougee, 51, works as an inside designer. “It supplemented our struggling, fledging professional careers.”
But by 2011, Feldman Architecture had develop into extra established and the couple had two daughters — Sasha, now 14, and Summer, 11 — and “we were tired of all the moving,” he mentioned.
That’s after they heard a few outstanding property that was about to go in the marketplace: a 1905 house on a quiet cul-de-sac terminating on the Presidio nationwide park that sat on a 50-foot-wide lot — twice the width of most properties in the realm.
“That meant it had outdoor space,” Mr. Feldman recalled. “We jokingly said we could have a farm in the city.”
“By San Francisco standards,” he added, “it’s decadent.”
The Edwardian home additionally provided a chance for Mr. Feldman to experiment with a few of his concepts about weaving inexperienced constructing programs into an present — and, in this case, historic — construction.
“I’m always trying to convince my clients to push further in this way,” he mentioned. “So pushing on our own house was something I wanted to do.”
Concerned that there could possibly be a bidding struggle, the couple made a suggestion earlier than the home was formally in the marketplace, with out even setting foot inside.
“I knew that our plans would include an all-new foundation and all-new electrical, plumbing and systems, so I wasn’t too afraid of what we’d discover,” Mr. Feldman mentioned. “We made a pre-emptive offer that was a little bit aggressive.”
The technique labored, and so they closed on the home for about $2.9 million that September. Then the couple toiled on the design for a yr and a half, discovering in the method that that they had completely different concepts about precisely what the home ought to develop into.
“There was a debate about how modern to make it,” mentioned Mr. Feldman, who’s a dedicated modernist, whereas his spouse’s aesthetic is a bit more conventional.
The largest bone of rivalry, it turned out, was the place to place the staircase.
Like most properties of the interval, this one had a staircase close to the doorway. Mr. Feldman needed to maneuver the steps towards the middle of the home, the place they could possibly be illuminated with skylights. That approach, all the flooring plan could possibly be opened up, bringing in extra gentle in every single place.
“I had a hard time with that in an Edwardian house,” Ms. Lougee mentioned. “That set our project back several months. But eventually I came around, and I’m really glad I did.”
The new blackened-steel-and-glass staircase is now one among her favourite options.
“Once we worked out the stair,” she mentioned, “we were so relieved to have come to an agreement that we were both willing to compromise” on issues just like the furnishings, the place they cut up the distinction, mixing fashionable and conventional items, from a smooth B&B Italia couch to vintage bergères.
Mr. Feldman made a number of different vital modifications to the home: He had the basement excavated so he may improve the ceiling there from six and a half ft to eight and a half ft. He transformed the attic to a house workplace and put in a dormer. He added home windows alongside the aspect of the home to let in extra gentle. And he fully redesigned the again to accommodate an open kitchen and household room with French doorways opening out to the backyard, the place he and Bernard Trainor, the founding principal of the panorama structure agency Ground Studio, overhauled the yard, introducing a slope so the basement may have walkout entry.
Within the shell of the Edwardian construction, he additionally managed to create a 21st-century area with sufficient sustainable supplies and options to earn a LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council. Those options embrace a heat-recovery air flow system that gives recent air whereas recycling warmth; a hydronic radiant-heating system that provides heat underfoot and will get a lift from a roof-mounted, photo voltaic hot-water system; a big photovoltaic rooftop array that generates practically as a lot electrical energy as the home consumes; and a Savant automation system that permits the couple to watch vitality seize and use.
And to chop down on the quantity of water they eat, Mr. Feldman put in a gray-water assortment system that filters and recycles water from showers, sinks and the laundry, utilizing it for irrigation and — after prolonged negotiations with the town’s constructing inspector to realize permission — flushing bogs.
The contractors, Jeff King & Company, accomplished building on the five-bedroom, four,630-square-foot house in a few yr and a half, at a price of roughly $650 a sq. foot, earlier than the household moved in, in July 2014.
Almost instantly, they felt it essential to reveal a number of the house’s secrets and techniques to their new neighbors.
“As soon as we moved in we had some bad drought years,” Mr. Feldman mentioned, “and we had this beautiful, lush garden, while everyone else was letting their lawns and gardens die. We had to put up signs that said, ‘This is irrigated with recycled water,’ so people wouldn’t get mad at us.”